Twists & Turns: Explore the places that inspired Oliver Twist
£10 per person (Includes Museum entry)
Duration: Approximately 90 minutes
This walk begins at the Charles Dickens Museum and ends in West Smithfield
Suitable for adults and accompanied children of 12 years and over.
Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist when he lived from 1837 to 1839 at 48 Doughty Street, now the Charles Dickens Museum. He was in his mid-twenties and it was his second novel. He took long walks through the streets of London observing and storing up ideas and images for his work. Dickens’s walking stick was perhaps as important for his writing as his pen.
This afternoon, expert guide Ben Nolan leads us through the nearby streets where Dickens wandered to discover the places, people and events that inspired Oliver Twist.
We start with Dickens’s walking stick at 48 Doughty Street. We explore nearby streets that housed some of the worst slums in London, and see where Dickens set Fagin’s den of thieves. We learn about London’s criminal underbelly of pickpockets, prostitutes and murderers and see the sites of courts, prisons and executions, which all appear in Oliver Twist. We explore the place, long associated with political protest, where Oliver is accused of robbing Mr Brownlow as he browses at a bookstall. We discover how the society and politics of Dickens’s London influenced his novel and lead to him becoming regarded as a great social reformer of Victorian England.
About our guide
Ben Nolan is an official City of London guide and an associate member of the Institute of Tourist Guiding. He is known for his friendly and entertaining style, his ability to bring Dickens’s stories to life for all ages, and his knowledge of hidden and surprising London.
About this event
The event is part of the programme for the Museum’s temporary exhibition Restless Shadow: Dickens the Campaigner. The event also celebrates Dickens’s walking stick, on display at the Charles Dickens Museum, and a highlight of London History Day (31 May 2017).
Your ticket includes entrance to the Museum on Wednesday 31st May (10am to 5pm, last admission at 4pm) to visit the author’s historic home and its temporary exhibition, Restless Shadow: Dickens the Campaigner.